W4W Birika Project: Steel Elevated Tower and Tank

The word “birika” in Kiswahili means kettle. The first time that I heard of a place called Birika, it conjured up past fond memories of an aluminium tea kettle, pouring out steaming hot tea that was so deviously sweet, that it seduced you to take a huge gulp, inevitably leaving you with a heat blister on the roof of your mouth.

It was probably the now common sweltering Nairobi heat that made my mind make this association, as I started off from our office at Ciata Mall, Ridgeways, heading to Birika, Kajiado County on Thursday, February 21st 2019. The purpose of the trip was to inspect construction of a steel tower by Water for the World installation crew.

To get to Birika, one travels south from Nairobi for about 87 kilometers through Kitengela, Insinya and onwards to Olooloitikosh town. By 12 noon, the temperature gauge in the vehicle was reading 33 degrees centigrade, yet we were only half way to Birika. But other than the dusty and potholed 20 kilometer stretch along Isinya-Kiserian road that made the journey appear much longer than it really is, the rest of the trip was uneventful save for the copious amount of cold bottled water consumed.

At a distance to the site, one cannot fail to notice a shiny, steel elevated tower and tank marking our final destination. The onsite storage facility is part of a borehole project undertaken by W4W for a private client. The borehole is 180m deep and was constructed in 2018. The storage tank has a capacity of 20000 liters and holds pumped water for domestic and irrigation farming purposes.

The construction of the steel elevated tower and tank took 1,1/2 weeks and required the transportation of steel columns, joists, nuts and bolts, welding rods, among other materials from Nairobi. The fabrication and erection was done entirely by the W4W crew as can be attested by the meticulous welding, joinery and painting.

We often recommend mild steel towers to our clients. Some of the advantages of mild steel towers is that steel is tensile, meaning it has a high capacity to hold weight per unit mass which is ideal for water, a generally heavy material. It also tends to be lightweight unlike other building materials such as brick and mortar. Compared to concrete, it takes a shorter time to construct by eliminating the need to cure over a long period. When constructed using good quality material, the right gauge and welding skill, steel towers are known to be very durable.

W4W has been constructing high quality steel towers over the past ten years and has gained valuable experience and insights in implementing projects that require high capacity steel towers and steel pressed tanks. Where budgets are limited, PVC (plastic) tanks can be positioned on elevated six-meter steel towers with equally good results.

Our other products and services include:

  • Hydrogeological surveys
  • Borehole drilling
  • Borehole cleaning & rehabilitation
  • Borehole equipping
  • Test pumping
  • Water storage tanks
  • Solar systems
  • Water pans & dams
  • Reverse osmosis products
  • Water kiosks
  • Technical consultancy

While continuously striving for world-class quality, W4W is always keen to provide clients with high quality products and services that guarantee repeat business and referrals.